If we discovered an alien civilization 50,000 light years away, what do you think our top 3 priorities as a species should be?

If we discovered an alien civilization 50,000 light years away, we’d be looking at that civilization 50,000 years in the past, since that’s how long it took light and radio waves from there to reach us. They might not even be there by now. Will we still be here 50,000 years from now?

Also, it would create conspiracy theories. There would be those who say it was a hoax because it challenges the very idea that God created life on Earth alone. Discovering even a fossil of a microbe from another planet would be an enormous find for science in the age-old battle between science and religion.

It would revolutionize science, but from the average Joe on the street, it would mean nothing at all.

And that’s sad, but true.

So we would remain, as a species, not united as we are not united at present, and therefore we would remain without the ability, as a species, to come up with three top priorities. But if the scientists of the world came up with three priorities they might not be much different than they are now:

  • Save the planet
  • Find our origins
  • Feed our people

Report: Harvey's 5-day Texas Rainfall Unprecedented in U.S.

June 8, 2018
By The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) — A new report on the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey says the U.S. has never experienced the amount of rainfall across such a vast area as that brought by Harvey when it struck Texas.
The report released this week by the Harris County Flood Control District says more rain fell over a five-day period, and on such a broad area, than at any time since records have been kept.
The area extends roughly from Victoria in South Texas northeast to Houston and over to the Louisiana border.
The report relied on calculations done by Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon.
The report focused almost exclusively on Harris County, home to Houston, where rainfall amounts last August ranged from 26 to 47 inches (660 to 1194 millimeters). Some areas east of metro Houston saw an estimated 55 inches (1397 millimeters).
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

High enough to avoid the rising Seas

Where I live in Amarillo it is 3,634 feet (1,107.64 meters) above sea level. Not as high as Denver, the mile high city, but still fairly high.
Did did you know that at higher elevations water boils at a lower temperature? It’s true! Because water boils at a lower temperature at high altitudes you have to cook foods longer to make them fully cooked. This includes cooking in a microwave. Some products have special instructions for high-altitude cooking.
Amarillo, Texas, is high enough to require special cooking instructions.
It’s also high enough so that if the sea Rises due to climate change, then the Caprock will become waterfront property!
Of course I’m joking. But there are two Great Plains in America: the high plains and the rolling plains. However, even with an extreme rise in sea level the ocean will never reach either of these plains.
Ocean levels are rising. In the future they may rise a lot more, potentially flooding coastal cities like New York, Los Angeles, West Bengal, the Netherlands, and so on.

Thinking of Moving to Amarillo, Texas?

Want to move to Amarillo and buy a house? Planning to spend a few years here? Sure. Housing is good quality and inexpensive.

In the long run we have a little problem coming up. It’s called the Ogallala Aquifer. That’s an underground water source running up and down the middle of the United States.

It’s what keeps all these nice farms green and healthy:

The entire Texas Panhandle gets the majority of it’s water supply from this underground system. Unfortunately, it’s going to run dry, and when it does whole cities like Amarillo, Texas, are in for a very big problem.

Real Estate values will crash.

That’s still 20 or 30 years out, though, so if you plan to buy and live here a few years, go for it!

Monarch Butterflies

Monarch butterflies are leaving Mexico and traveling north, as they always do. However, they’re coming a lot further north than they typically do in April. The first I heard about this was a text message from conservation photographer Michael Forsberg back on April 9. Mike said he had just photographed a monarch butterfly with faded wings […]

via Not Yet, Monarchs, Not Yet! — The Prairie Ecologist

United Nations Goes Dark for Earth Hour

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_9umnnasX4]
The United Nations building in Manhattan went dark for Earth Hour. The view was very astounding. Here’s a photo:
03-25-2017-UNHQ_earthhour
What exactly is Earth hour? Well, Earth Hour was 25 March 2017 at 8:30pm. Each year millions of people around the globe attempt to switch off electricity for Earth Hour to shine a light on the need for climate action.

Can Going to Mars Fix Earth?

Mars is cool. Isn’t it? Well, spoiler alert: neither you nor I are going to settle on Mars.
It’s inhospitable and has no benefit. It’s not a safe haven if we screw up Earth. Why? Because Mars lost its hot core billions of years ago. Without a hot core Mars lost the magnetic field shielding it from the sun. The atmosphere blew away, the volcanos dried up, and there’s nothing protecting any people there from the dangerous rays of the sun. It has no value for humans to go there, what to speak live there, and NASA has a whole department dedicated to making sure we don’t bring germs to other planets or from other planets back to Earth. That means we’ll never terraform Mars. We will never grow stuff there, and we will never survive there. Mars is useless except, maybe, for rovers to rove.
Same goes for the moon. No point in going back to the moon. Anything you want to do there you can do without human hands. That’s what robots are for, and if a robot dies it costs money but no lives.
We were born on this Earth. We will die on it. We’ve got stuff in orbit, and robots on Mars and in space, but that’s it. Maybe SpaceX or somebody will put some poor souls on the surface of Mars, but they will either die or have to come back to the safety of Earth.
There will be no Star Trek Enterprise. There will never be a spaceship that can go “warp” speed. There will never be a Federation of Planets. Get real. Sorry if it’s upsetting. Great TV, great movies, but it’s science fiction.
We won’t be able to visit those 7 “earthlike planets” recently discovered over 40 light years away, 10 times further than our closest stellar neighbor.
We’ve got one place to live. Earth. Screw it up, and the future’s screwed. We have the science to sustain it, but greediness and politics, international conflicts and third world governments, big industry and you and me in our cozy environment choking homes, will not allow us to save it. Gradually a wide variety of species will go extinct, both plants and animals. Gradually the food chain will be disrupted. Not for you, probably not for your kids, but down the line it’s coming.
Sometimes Earth people go “green” – reducing their “environmental footprint.” Yeah, you can try. You can even succeed if you try really hard. You can live off the grid, by candlelight or self generated electricity, don’t buy any food in containers or wrapped in plastic, make compost and grow food.
I know people who live like that and it’s great for them.
However, let’s get real here. Out of billions of people, if a few people leave less of an environmental footprint than most of the others, it might make them feel good but will it really save the world? No it won’t, because at the core of the problem is humanity itself. We are the polluters of our own planet. We are not likely to stop as a whole. We are not one world government, one people and one culture. We are diverse and dream of going to other planets if this one gets screwed up.
Is this a pessimistic view? Probably. I’m going to be 64 years old in a few months. This is the world the boomers and those before us are leaving behind. See if you can fix it.

Scientists Discover Life on Another Planet

By Wayne E. Boyd
Breaking news. Astrophysicists have discovered a new planet within the “Goldilocks” region orbiting a yellow dwarf star and believe it is teaming with life, thus putting to rest the age-old question: “Is there life on other planets?”
The planet appears to be similar to our own in size and has an atmosphere primarily of oxygen and nitrogen. However, don’t plan on visiting the new world anytime soon. Not only is it many light years away, but microbial life floating in the wind would be a death trap without a spacesuit since we have never developed evolutionary immunity against them.
Observations suggest the surface of the planet is mostly submerged under salt-water oceans which themselves are full of aquatic life of all sizes. The areas that rise above the oceans, approximately 25% of the planet surface, are covered with plant life which provide food for many of the animals that live there.
Evidence indicates the dry land areas are inhabited mainly by germs and insects, however quadrupeds and bipeds live among them. The bipeds appear to be polluting their own air and water due to advanced industrial revolution. Great cities have arisen all over the land and the bipeds appear to have launched satellites and probes into space. Unfortunately, they quarrel and kill each other and share no common interests with their environment.
The planet is located inside the neighboring Milky Way Galaxy, which can be seen from our own Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye in the night sky, and appears brilliant when seen through even modest telescopes.
Tentatively the planet, has been named “Earth” and due to the circumstances may be barren of all life within a few thousand years. It has been classified as dangerous for habitation and the search for intelligent life on other worlds continues.

Martian Pipe dream?

There’s no way humans are going to colonize Mars. Hate to burst your bubble.
There’s no organized magneto sphere on Mars to protect people from the sun. It’s why the Martian atmosphere blew away and the oceans evaporated.
For that reason terra forming can’t be successful there, and scientifically no one wants to contaminate Mars with our germs.
We’re just going to have to fix what we’ve got. Star Trek is fiction.